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Alyssa and Gary

Boston, Massachusetts

About the bride: Thirty-year-old Alyssa is a former NFL cheerleader who loves nothing more than love itself.

About the groom: Gary is an active and adventurous energy sales analyst who lives by the mantra “Carpe diem.”

Time together: Three years

Why he’s the one: “When I saw his love for his family, I knew he was the one.”

Why she’s the one: “I love the way I feel when I'm around her. She is what I need to make my life the life I want to live.”

Gary and Alyssa grew up living strikingly similar lives — they were both raised in North Andover, attended North Andover High School followed by UMass Amherst, and spent their summers on the same beach. However, with Alyssa’s being three years older, they never crossed paths until Alyssa’s cousin introduced them during a random night out three years ago.

Tired by the idea of going out, Alyssa found herself in a baseball cap when she was introduced to the man who would soon become the love of her life. Gary would later confess that, contrary to how Alyssa was feeling that night, his first thought was “She is hot,” and decided he wanted to get to know her.

After a few years of dating bliss, the next natural step for Gary and Alyssa was marriage. The two vacationed on a tropical island. During a romantic walk on the beach, Alyssa was startled and overwhelmed with joy when Gary suddenly fell to one knee. They returned to their hotel room, complete with rose petals and champagne and celebrated their future as Mr. and Mrs. Ritter.

Family is the tie in both Gary’s and Alyssa’s lives. In fact, Gary’s brothers, Glen and Brian, are his best friends. Recently, Brian was diagnosed with lymphoma. The Ritters are rallying behind Brian with loving support.

For Alyssa and Gary, a perfect Saturday involves a drive up the mountains, followed by a hike and a cozy evening at a bed-and-breakfast. Compassion meets adventure for these two and they can’t wait for the biggest thrill of all — life together as man and wife.